Saturday, September 01, 2007

Trains and more trains

It’s nearly Labor day and Summer is nearly over. I haven’t done my homework blog report. The subject of my report is trains.


The only trip I took was a long weekend in Portland, Oregon. We went up by Amtrak. We had a small (5'2” x 9'5”) Family Bedroom which spans the entire width of the car and has windows on each side. If you don’t get a cabin it can be a bit cheaper than flying, but it takes a lot longer. You take an Amtrak bus across the bay to Emeryville, and then take the 10pm train. The arrival time is supposed to be 3.40 pm. The evening came and we were still on the train. We were supposed to arrive in the afternoon on Saturday but there were many delays. We got to Portland about 11pm. Amtrak doesn't own the tracks and Union Pacific gives priority to freight trains.

Cleaning our windows

Meal service in a dining car is included in the price (if you have a cabin). There was some sort of vegetarian possibility at each meal. It was fun to sleep on the train in the small bunks. I have now done the whole Amtrak route from San Diego to Portland.

The MAX train

Portland is nice (in the Summer at least). The centre is very compact and the block size is smaller than San Francisco so what looks like a trek on the map is actually a short stroll. In the downtown area all the transit is free. This is Washington Park station. At 260 feet (70 meters) below the surface it is the deepest subway station in North America


  1. In the downtown area all the transit is free.

    It is always funny when the land of free enterprise suddenly goes all commuitarian service provision, like the way some municipalities provide free wireless broadband.